Our regular up-to-date selection of recently published books as well as new or re-released plays and musicals, many of which are now available for amateur performance. As a result of the pandemic
some licensors are now offering special online- performance arrangements, so please get in touch with the appropriate company to find out more.
THE BOY WHO KICKED PIGS by Tom Baker, Clem Garritty, Natasha Hodgson, Zoe Roberts, Oliver Jones, David Cumming
Full-length dark comedy | F2, M2 | 978 0 573 13251 3 | £7.99 paperback
13-year-old Robert Caligari is a nasty piece of work. But today is the day he gets his comeuppance. Today is the day he’s going to die.
When Robert kicks his sister’s beloved piggy bank Trevor out of the window, he sets in motion a chain of events that results in the unexpected demise of a local fishmonger. Having developed a taste for blood and sick to death of sneering imbecilic adults, Robert sets about becoming the real murderer he has always dreamed of being, all the while egged on by the newly-talking Trevor. Meanwhile, in the mind-numbingly boring offices of local paper The Kent Clarion, work experience student Philip Bottering wishes for something, anything, to report on – preferably a juicy disaster.
Based on the book by Doctor Who’s Tom Baker, this madly-hilarious, frenetic scream of a show, which includes shark-mauling beach-goers, burning vicars and even waltzing rats, is a multi-roling masterpiece that tells the gloriously grisly tale of one scoundrel’s attempt at infamy.
HAMMERED: A THOR & LOKI PLAY (MARVEL SPOTLIGHT) by Christian Borle
Full-length play | Earth, The Cosmic Void, Asgard | 978 0 573 70817 6 | £8.79 paperback
One is the Norse God of Thunder, Master of the Storm, Lord of the Living Lightning, and heir to the throne of eternal Asgard. The other born of a Frost Giant, but now the Norse God of Mischief. Yet they are brothers, and together they are… The Mighty Thor and Loki.
As Thor struggles with the stress of final exams, his brother Loki finds himself under a different sort of pressure. Neither are beneath pranks in the endless competition for their parents’ favor. But underneath all the thunder and mischief, these two Princes of Asgard discover a bond that will last millennia.
MIRROR OF MOST VALUE: A MS. MARVEL PLAY (MARVEL SPOTLIGHT) by Masi Asare
Full-length play | Kamala’s bedroom; the streets of Jersey City; a physics classroom and a hallway at Coles Academic High School | 978 0 573 70818 3 | £8.79 paperback
When a strange Terrigen Mist descended upon Jersey City, Kamala Khan was imbued with polymorphic powers. Her life was changed forever and so were the lives of her family and friends. Using her newfound abilities to fight evil and protect Jersey City, she became the all new MS. MARVEL!
Kamala attempts to boost Ms. Marvel’s fledgling super hero profile by writing her own fan fiction. But when hobby turns to obsession, Kamala’s schoolwork and relationships begin to suffer. Before Jersey City truly can embrace Ms. Marvel, Kamala must learn to accept herself just as she is – imperfections and all.
SQUIRREL GIRL GOES TO COLLEGE: A SQUIRREL GIRL PLAY (MARVEL SPOTLIGHT) by Karen Zacarías
Full-length play | Empire State University | 978 0 573 70819 0 | £8.79 paperback
Doreen Green secretly possesses the powers of squirrel…and girl! She uses her amazing abilities to fight crime and be as awesome as possible You know her as the Unbeatable SQUIRREL GIRL!
Doreen arrives at Empire Stage University determined to make new human friends – and protect them from super villains – by keeping her super hero identity a secret. But when a beloved computer science professor suddenly disappears, can Doreen trust her friends with her inner squirrel so she can save the day?
RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN
RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S CAROUSEL by Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Ferenc Molnar, Benjamin F. Glazer, Agnes de Mille
Full Length Musical, Drama | F5, M5 | 19th Century | DIGLIB0000007 | £0 (Digital Libretto Perusal)
In a Maine coastal village toward the end of the 19th Century, the swaggering, carefree carnival barker, Billy Bigelow, captivates and marries the gentle millworker, Julie Jordan. Billy loses his job just as he learns that Julie is pregnant and, desperately intent upon providing a decent life for his family, he is coerced into being an accomplice to a robbery. Caught in the act and facing the certainty of prison, he takes his own life and is sent ‘up there.’ Billy is allowed to return to earth for one day fifteen years later, and he encounters the daughter he never knew. She is a lonely, friendless teenager, her father’s reputation as a thief and bully having haunted her throughout her young life. How Billy instills in both the child and her mother a sense of hope and dignity is a dramatic testimony to the power of love.
RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S CINDERELLA (Broadway) by Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Douglas Carter Beane
Full Length Musical, Comedy | F5, M4 | 16th Century | DIGLIB0000009 | £0 (Digital Libretto Perusal)
Amateur licensing for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella is currently available for schools productions only in the UK and Eire.
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella is the new Broadway adaptation of the classic musical. This contemporary take on the classic tale features Rodgers & Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including ‘In My Own Little Corner,’ ‘Impossible/It’s Possible’ and ‘Ten Minutes Ago,’ alongside an up-to-date, hilarious and romantic libretto by Tony Award-nominee Douglas Carter Beane.
RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S FLOWER DRUM SONG by Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Joseph Fields, C.Y. Lee
Full Length Musical, Comedy | F6, M4, Boy(s) 1 | San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1958 | DIGLIB0000011 | £0 (Digital Libretto Perusal)
Mei Li has come from China to San Francisco to marry nightclub owner Sammy Fong. But Sammy loves Linda Low, a dancer at his establishment. His friend Wang Ta is urged to marry Mei Li, even though he is promised to Linda. After farcical trifles, a torn Wang Ta eventually realizes it is Mei Li whom he loves after all, and they happily marry.
RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S STATE FAIR by Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Tom Briggs, Louis Mattioli, Phil Stong
Full Length Musical, Comedy | F7, M9, Girl(s) 1 | Five days in late August of 1946 on the Frake farm in Brunswick, Iowa and at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. | DIGLIB0000278 | £0 (Digital Libretto Perusal)
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s only musical written directly for the screen is now a stage musical that’s had critics raving from coast to coast. Set against the colourful backdrop of an American heartland tradition, State Fair travels with the Frake family as they leave behind the routine of the farm for three days of adventure at the annual Iowa State Fair. Mom and Pop have their hearts set on blue ribbons while their daughter and son find romance and heartbreak on the midway. Set to the mgic of an Academy Award-winning score and augmented by other titles from the Rodgers & Hammerstein songbook.
42ND STREET by Harry Warren, Al Dubin, Michael Stewart, Mark Bramble, Bradford Ropes, Gower Champion
Full Length Musical, Drama | F7, M6 | New York City and Philadelphia. 1933. | DIGLIB0000081 | £0 (Digital Libretto Perusal)
Come along and listen to the lullaby of Broadway! 42nd Street celebrates Broadway, Times Square and the magic of show biz with wit, humor and pizzazz. At the height of the Great Depression, aspiring chorus girl Peggy Sawyer comes to the big city from Allentown PA, and soon lands her first big job in the ensemble of a glitzy new Broadway show. But just before opening night, the leading lady breaks her ankle. Will Peggy be able to step in and become a star? The score is chock-full of Broadway standards, including ‘You’re Getting to be a Habit With Me,’ ‘Dames,’ ‘We’re in the Money,’ ‘Lullaby of Broadway,’ ‘Shuffle Off to Buffalo’ and ‘Forty-Second Street.’
DREAMGIRLS by Henry Krieger, Tom Eyen
Full Length Musical, Drama | F4, M4 | Various cities in the U.S in 1970s and 1960s | DIGLIB0000139 | £0 (Digital Libretto Perusal)
Through gospel, R&B, smooth pop, disco and more, Dreamgirls explores themes of ambition, hope and betrayal, all set in the glamorous and competitive world of the entertainment industry.
“Dreamgirls is a show about a time in American musical history when rhythm and blues blended with other styles of popular music creating a new American sound. Act One is set in the fabulous sixties – a time when we were still screaming at Elvis and listening to the Beatles, but were dancing to the new beat of countless girl and boy groups like The Supremes, The Marvelettes, The Temptations and The Shirelles. Dreamgirls is not just about the singing and the dancing and the performing. The play is also about the behind-the-scenes reality of the entertainment industry – the business part of show business that made possible this cultural phenomenon. Act Two shows the creation and the arrival of disco – though the word is never used in the script. The subject matter of this play deals with a musical contribution to America of such importance that only now – decades later – are we beginning to understand.” Michael Bennett
GYPSY by Arthur Laurents, Jule Styne, Stephen Sondheim, Gypsy Rose Lee
Full Length Musical, Comedy | F6, M2 | Early 1920s – early 1930s, | various cities in the USA. | DIGLIB0000066 | £0 (Digital Libretto Perusal)
Regarded by many theatre professionals as the finest musical ever created, Gypsy is the ultimate tale of an ambitious stage mother fighting for her daughters’ success – while secretly yearning for her own. Set all across America in the 20s and 30s, when vaudeville was dying and burlesque was born, Arthur Laurents’ landmark show explores the world of two-bit show business with brass, humour, heart, and sophistication.
The celebrated score by Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim boasts one glorious hit after another, including: ‘Everything’s Coming Up Roses,’ ‘Let Me Entertain You,’ ‘Some People,’ ‘You’ll Never Get Away from Me,’ ‘If Momma Was Married,’ ‘All I Need is the Girl,’ ‘You Gotta Get A Gimmick,’ ‘Small World,’ and ‘Together Wherever We Go.’
NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT by George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Joe DiPietro, Guy Bolton, P.G. Wodehouse
Full Length Musical, Comedy | F5, M5 | The Winter family’s ritzy Long Island Beach house, 1927. | DIGLIB0000223 | £0 (Digital Libretto Perusal)
This hilarious screwball comedy pokes fun at the Prohibition era in a clash of elegant socialites and boorish bootleggers, all set to the glorious songs of George and Ira Gershwin. Highlights from the score include: ‘Fascinating Rhythm,’ ‘Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,’ ‘Someone to Watch Over Me,’ ‘Sweet and Low Down,’ and ‘Delishious’.
YOUNG ACTORS & HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
A CHORUS LINE HIGH SCHOOL EDITION by Michael Bennett, James Kirkwood, Nicholas Dante, Marvin Hamlisch, Edward Kleban
Full Length Musical, Drama | F10, M9 | A Broadway theatre, 1975. | DIGLIB0000042 | £0 (Digital Libretto Perusal)
A full-length version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, adapted for performance by students with family audiences. Every aspect of the show has been developed specifically for young performers: dialogue and content are age-appropriate, dance sequences are of a length befitting young dancers, and allowances are made to feature actors of any race or ethnicity. The materials have been prepared – with the authors’ approval – to help your school or organisation mount the best possible production and to give your students an exciting and rewarding experience.
A Chorus Line is a stunning concept musical capturing the spirit and tension of a Broadway chorus audition. Exploring the inner lives and poignant ambitions of professional Broadway performers, the show features one powerhouse number after another. Memorable musical numbers include: ‘What I Did for Love,’ ‘One,’ ‘I Can Do That,’ ‘At the Ballet,’ ‘The Music and the Mirror,’ and ‘I Hope I Get It.’
CRAZY FOR YOU YOUNG PERFORMERS’ EDITION by George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Ken Ludwig, Mike Ockrent, Guy Bolton, John McGowan
Full Length Musical, Comedy | F5, M4 | New York City and Deadrock, Nevada, in the early 1930s. | DIGLIB0000075 | £0 (Digital Libretto Perusal)
This Young Performers’ Edition is a one-hour adaptation of Crazy For You®, specially tailored for elementary and middle school-aged actors. The materials have been prepared to help your school or organisation mount the best possible production and to give your young cast and crew an exciting and rewarding experience.
A zany rich-boy-meets-hometown-girl romantic comedy, Crazy For You® tells the story of young New York banker Bobby Child, who is sent to Deadrock, Nevada, to foreclose on a rundown theatre. In Deadrock, Bobby falls for spunky Polly Baker, the theatre owner’s daughter. But Polly takes an instant dislike to the city slicker, so Bobby vows – through cunning, razzmatazz, and a hilarious case of mistaken identity – to win Polly’s heart and save the theatre. Memorable Gershwin tunes from the score include: ‘I Got Rhythm,’ ‘They Can’t Take That Away from Me,’ ‘Embraceable You,’ ‘Nice Work if You Can Get It’ and ‘Someone to Watch Over Me.’
GREASE SCHOOL VERSION by Warren Casey, Jim Jacobs
Full Length Musical | Ensemble cast, roles for teens | 1950s | 978 0 573 60180 4 | £8.79 paperback
This version retains the fun-loving spirit and immortal songs of the blockbuster show, but removes any profanity, lewd behavior, and Rizzo’s pregnancy scare. The song ‘There are Worst Things I Could Do’ is also deleted from this edition. It is approximately fifteen minutes shorter than the standard version of Grease.
Additionally, some songs have undergone lyric changes for the School Version with the remainder edited for time, with some verses deleted.
HEATHERS THE MUSICAL HIGH SCHOOL EDITION by Laurence O’Keefe, Kevin Murphy
Full Length Musical, Comedy | 1980s | DIG0000000143 | £0 (Digital Libretto Perusal)
This title is not currently available for performance. To be informed as soon as it becomes available in the future, please submit a license application.
The darkly delicious story of Veronica Sawyer, a brainy, beautiful teenage misfit who hustles her way into the most powerful and ruthless clique at Westerberg High: the Heathers. But before she can get comfortable atop the high school food chain, …Veronica falls in love with the dangerously handsome new kid J.D. When Heather Chandler, the Almighty, kicks her out of the group, Veronica decides to bite the bullet and kiss Heather’s aerobicized butt… but J.D. has another plan for that bullet.
Brought to you by the award-winning creative team of Kevin Murphy (Reefer Madness, Desperate Housewives), Laurence O’Keefe (Bat Boy, Legally Blonde) and director Andy Fickman (Reefer Madness, She’s the Man), Heathers The Musical (High School Edition) is a hilarious, heartfelt and homicidal new show based on the greatest teen comedy of all time.
In this version various curse words as well as onstage smoking, drinking and R-rated sexual scenes have either been removed or altered accordingly (note: there are still PG-13 sexual scenes).
Actors’ and Performers’ Yearbook 2021 Essential contacts for stage, screen and radio – Foreword by Rob Ostlere
Theatre book | 978 1 350 15947 1 | £11.89 (incl. 30% discount)
This well-established and respected directory supports actors in their training and search for work on stage, screen and radio. It is the only directory to provide detailed information for each listing and specific advice on how to approach companies and individuals, saving hours of further research. From agents and casting directors to producing theatres, showreel companies, photographers and much more, this essential reference book editorially selects only the most relevant and reputable contacts for the actor.
With several new articles and commentaries, Actors’ and Performers’ Yearbook 2021 features aspects of the profession not previously covered, as well as continuing to provide valuable insight into auditions, interviews and securing work alongside a casting calendar and financial issues. This is a valuable professional tool in an industry where contacts and networking are key to career survival.
All listings have been updated alongside fresh advice from industry experts.
Di and Viv and Rose by Amelia Bullmore
Full-length play | 978 1 350 14613 6 | £9.89 (incl. 10% discount)
Aged eighteen, three women join forces. Life is fun. Living is intense. Together they feel unassailable. Di and Viv and Rose charts the steady but sometimes chaotic progression of these three women’s lives, from the highs to the lows, the problems that force them apart and their ultimately enduring bonds.
A humorous and thoughtful exploration of friendship’s impact on life and life’s impact on friendship, this bittersweet comedy premiered at the Hampstead Theatre, London, in 2013.
This new Modern Classics edition features an introduction by Professor Elizabeth Kuti.
NOISES OFF by Michael Frayn
Full-length comedy | 978 1 350 18485 5 | £9.89 (incl. 10% discount)
We couldn’t let an issue go by without flagging up a new edition of the play that inspired our name. You can read our interview with Michael Frayn – where he talks about the inspiration behind writing Noises Off – from our very first issue on our new website.
A play-within-a-play following a touring theatre company who are rehearsing and performing a comedy called Nothing On, results in a riotous double-bill of comedic craft and dramatic skill.
Hurtling along at breakneck speed it shows the backstage antics as they stumble through the dress-rehearsal at Weston-super-Mare, then on to a disastrous matinee at Ashton-under-Lyne, followed by a total meltdown in Stockton-on-Tees.
Michael Frayn’s irresistible, multi-award-winning backstage farce has been enjoyed by millions of people worldwide since it premiered in 1982 at the Lyric Hammersmith and has been hailed as one of the greatest farces ever written (google ‘funniest farce ever written’).
Winner of both Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Comedy.
This edition features a new introduction by Michael Blakemore.
DISNEY’S THE LITTLE MERMAID by Music by Alan Menken. Lyrics by Howard Ashman, Glenn Slater. Book by Doug Wright. Based on the Hans Christian Andersen story and the Disney film that was produced by Howard Ashman & John Musker. Originally Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions.
Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved stories and the classic animated film, Disney’s The Little Mermaid is a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages. With music by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, and a compelling book by Doug Wright, this fishy fable will capture your heart with its irresistible songs including ‘Under the Sea,’ ‘Kiss the Girl,’ and ‘Part of Your World.’
Ariel, King Triton’s youngest daughter, wishes to pursue the human Prince Eric in the world above and bargains with the evil sea witch, Ursula, to trade her tail for legs. But the bargain is not what it seems and Ariel needs the help of her colorful friends Flounder the fish, Scuttle the seagull, and Sebastian the crab to restore order under the sea.
Disney’s The Little Mermaid offers a fantastic creative opportunity for rich costumes and sets, and the chance to perform some of the best-known songs from the past thirty years.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Music by Alan Menken, Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, Book by Peter Parnell
Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney animated feature, The Hunchback of Notre Dame showcases the film’s Academy Award-nominated score, as well as new songs by Menken and Schwartz. Peter Parnell’s new book embraces story theatre and features verbatim passages from Hugo’s gothic novel.
The musical begins as the bells of Notre Dame sound through the famed cathedral in fifteenth-century Paris. Quasimodo, the deformed bell-ringer who longs to be ‘Out There,’ observes all of Paris reveling in the Feast of Fools. Held captive by his devious caretaker, the archdeacon Dom Claude Frollo, he escapes for the day and joins the boisterous crowd, only to be treated cruelly by all but the beautiful gypsy, Esmeralda. Quasimodo isn’t the only one captivated by her free spirit, though – the handsome Captain Phoebus and Frollo are equally enthralled. As the three vie for her attention, Frollo embarks on a mission to destroy the gypsies – and it’s up to Quasimodo to save them all.
A sweeping score and powerful story make The Hunchback of Notre Dame an instant classic. Audiences will be swept away by the magic of this truly unforgettable musical.
Nativity! The Musical by Book by Debbie Isitt, Music and Lyrics by Debbie Isitt, Nicky Ager
Your favourite festive film is now a major new musical adapted for the stage by the creator of the much-loved films.
Oliver! JR by Book, music and lyrics by Lionel Bart.
Consider yourself at home with the Broadway Junior version of Lionel Bart’s classic musical based on Charles Dickens’ novel, Oliver Twist. The Tony and Olivier Award- winning show is one of the few musicals to win an Academy Award for Best Picture and is widely hailed as a true theatrical masterpiece by actors and audience members alike.
The streets of Victorian England come to life as Oliver, a malnourished orphan in a workhouse, becomes the neglected apprentice of an undertaker. Oliver escapes to London and finds acceptance amongst a group of petty thieves and pickpockets led by the elderly Fagin. When Oliver is captured for a theft that he did not commit, the benevolent victim, Mr. Brownlow takes him in. Fearing the safety of his hideout, Fagin employs the sinister Bill Sikes and the sympathetic Nancy to kidnap him back, threatening Oliver’s chances of discovering the true love of a family.
Oliver! JR. is full of classic songs like ‘Consider Yourself’, ‘Food Glorious Food’, and ‘Oom-Pah-Pah’, and perfectly showcases the talents of a large ensemble cast.
Million Dollar Quartet by Colin Escott, Floyd Mutrux
Full Length Musical | F1, M7 | 1950s | Memphis, Tennessee, USA | Rock and Roll
Inspired by ELVIS PRESLEY, JOHNNY CASH, JERRY LEE LEWIS and CARL PERKINS
The Tony® Award-nominated musical is set on December 4, 1956, when an extraordinary twist of fate brought Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley together at Sun Records in Memphis for what would be one of the greatest jam sessions ever. MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET brings that legendary December night to life with an irresistible tale of broken promises, secrets, betrayal and celebrations that is both poignant and funny. Relive the era with the smash-hit sensation featuring an incredible score of rock ‘n’ roll, gospel, R&B and country hits, performed live onstage by world-class actors and musicians. Showcased numbers include ‘Blue Suede Shoes,’ ‘Fever,’ ‘Walk the Line,’ ‘Sixteen Tons,’ ‘Who Do You Love?,’ ‘Great Balls of Fire,’ ‘Folsom Prison Blues,’ ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,’ ‘Hound Dog,’ and more.
Priscilla Queen of the Desert – The Musical by Stephan Elliott, Allan Scott
Full Length Musical | F7, M9, Boy(s)1 | 1990s | Australia | Pop Rock, Comedy
Based on the popular 1994 film of the same name, Priscilla Queen of the Desert follows two drag queens and a transsexual who buy a run-down old bus (they call it Priscilla) and set out on a road trip across the Australian Outback when one of them, Tick, is invited by his ex-wife to perform his drag show at her far-away resort. However, Tick is hesitant to tell his friends, Bernadette (a former performing icon whose best days are behind her) and Adam (a rambunctious young troublemaker), his own personal reasons for taking the trip.
During their journey, the trio encounters an array of Australian citizens.
DAUGHTERHOOD by Charley Miles
Full-length Play | 2f 1m (male actor plays multiple roles) | Contemporary, simple staging | 978 1 848 42883 6 | £9.99 (£7.99 direct from the publisher)
One sister stayed at home to care for Dad. The other set out to ‘make a difference’. Reunited under their childhood roof, Pauline and Rachel unearth more than the ten years between them. It’s a huge gap. Almost insurmountable. And each is determined to let the other know exactly who has done things right. A beautiful, ferocious play about the bonds that tie us, and how we sometimes need to break them, first
produced in 2019 by Paines Plough and Theatr Clwyd on a nationwide tour, including a run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
‘Each character is beautifully drawn in this witty, realistic script’ BritishTheatre.com
DRIP by Tom Wells
Full-length Play | M1 | Contemporary, simple staging | 978 1 848 42809 6 | £9.99 (£7.99 direct from the publisher)
Liam is fifteen and he’s just signed up for Bev Road Baths’ first ever synchronised swimming team. It’s for his best mate Caz really. She needs to get a team together to win the annual Project Prize at school. She tries every year. She always loses. But Liam’s an optimist, he’s determined to help. There’s just one problem. Liam can’t swim… A one-man musical comedy by award-winning duo Tom Wells (writer of popular amateur-theatre hits like The Kitchen Sink and Jumpers for Goalposts) and Matthew Robins, as seen at Edinburgh Fringe, the Bush Theatre, London, and on tour around the UK.
‘Feels like Victoria Wood for a new generation’ The Stage
ENOUGH by Stef Smith
Full-length Play | f2 | Contemporary, various locations (can be simply staged) | 978 1 848 42845 4 | £9.99 (£7.99 direct from the publisher)
Poetic, unpredictable and explosive, Stef Smith’s play Enough is a fragmentary and intense journey into female friendship, and unearths what happens when you can no longer be the woman people want. Jane and Toni are immaculate, iconic, accommodating flight attendants. They’re here for your safety, your comfort and your pleasure. Or so you think. But 30,000 feet below them their seemingly perfect lives are rapidly unravelling. In the sky, over the sea and in cheap hotel rooms around the world, they can feel the ground shake beneath them. Something is rising up, something which cannot be ignored. And it’s calling out for them. If they’re going to survive what’s coming, something needs to change. Winner of a Fringe First Award at Edinburgh Fringe 2019.
‘A terrific and terrifying stage poem… there’s huge lightness, humour and energy in Smith’s writing’ Scotsman
YOU STUPID DARKNESS! by Sam Steiner
Full-length Play | f2, M2 | Single interior (shabby office) | 978 1 848 42832 4 | £9.99 (£7.99 direct from the publisher)
In a cramped, crumbling office, four volunteers spend a few hours every Tuesday night on the phone telling strangers that everything is going to be okay.
As the outside world disintegrates, they teeter on the edge of their own personal catastrophes. Their hopes and fears become entangled as they try, desperately, to connect with the callers and with each other.
Sam Steiner’s You Stupid Darkness! is an urgent play about the struggle for optimism and community amid the chaos of a world falling apart. It was first seen at Theatre Royal Plymouth in February 2019, in a co-production between Paines Plough and Theatre Royal Plymouth.
‘A play to laugh along to as well as silently weep with… Steiner’s play is timeless – it transcends any specific period and paints a picture of a potential apocalypse that seems inevitable in the current political climate’ WhatsOnStage
THE HOES by Ifeyinwa Frederick
Full-length Play | f3 | Contemporary, single location (hotel room with en suite bathroom) | 978 1 848 42799 0 | £9.99 (£7.99 direct from the publisher)
A riotous celebration of sisterhood, showing that while life may throw up unexpected turbulence, friendships will last the course. Bim, Alex and J have been best friends since school. Loud, funny, inseparable – they are the epitome of girls who just want to have fun. But now they’re twenty-five, life is starting to get in the way. Careers, relationships, expectations… What better way to escape than a trip to Ibiza for a week of sun, sea and selfies? But there’s trouble in paradise when reality catches up with them, threatening to derail their holiday as they are forced to accept no amount of partying will let them escape themselves.
‘A brutally honest, devilishly funny account of millennial sisterhood and female sexuality with the power to make you laugh, cry and cringe’ British Theatre Guide
NORA: A DOLL’S HOUSE by Stef Smith after Henrik Ibsen
Full-length Play | f3-6, M3 | Three time periods, single location (a living room) | 978 1 848 42844 7 | £9.99 (£7.99 direct from the publisher)
Nora is the perfect wife and mother. She is dutiful, beautiful and everything is always in its right place. But when a secret from her past comes back to haunt her, her life rapidly unravels. Over the course of three days, Nora must fight to protect herself and her family or risk losing everything. Henrik Ibsen’s brutal portrayal of womanhood caused outrage when it was first performed in 1879. This bold new version by Stef Smith reframes the drama in three different time periods. The fight for women’s suffrage, the Swinging Sixties and the modern day intertwine in this urgent, poetic play that asks how far have we really come in the past hundred years? As seen at Tramway, Glasgow (produced by the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow) and at the Young Vic, London.
‘A provocation infused with Ibsen’s radical spirit’ Guardian
THE WELKIN by Lucy Kirkwood
Full-length Play | f13-16, M2-4 | England, 1759, various locations (can be simply staged) | 978 1 848 42921 5 | £9.99 (£7.99 direct from the publisher)
Rural Suffolk, 1759. As the country waits for Halley’s Comet, Sally Poppy is sentenced to hang for a heinous murder. When she claims to be pregnant, a jury of twelve matrons are taken from their housework to decide whether she’s telling the truth, or simply trying to escape the noose. With only midwife Lizzy Luke prepared to defend the girl, and a mob baying for blood outside, the matrons wrestle with their new authority, and the devil in their midst. First seen at the National Theatre, London, in January 2020, this acclaimed historical drama, in the vein of The Crucible and Twelve Angry Men, offers a large cast with lots of great roles for women across a variety of ages.
‘A mighty play: magnificent in its scope, depth and intricacy… a wise, funny, richly intelligent and generously ambitious play that asks, as all good history plays do, how far have we really come?’ Financial Times
Download for free from www.cressrelles.co.uk and let Simon know if you would like to read any of our other plays. At the moment, Cressrelles are not charging to use their plays in digital or physical readings to keep your society’s hands in during this pandemic.
Christmas Crackers by Sam Bate
A Christmas comedy for an all-women cast from the prolific pen of Sam Bate. The caterwauling from next door ruins Mrs Jones’s Christmas preparations and she calls the RSPCA. But no ordinary cat is making the ear-splitting noise.
This comedy for six women has a running time of approximately 40 minutes.
A Bit on the Other Side by Jack Booth
Cuthbert Ball, wealthy industrialist and prospective MP for The Moral Equity Party, puts his foot down. Nephew Eric’s profligate lifestyle must cease, together with his brother Ernest’s involvement with Cuthbert’s adopted daughter. But, having discovered Cuthbert’s youthful indiscretion in France, Eric attempts moral blackmail by hiring a stripper to pose as the illegitimate daughter. Complications and mistaken identities ensue, followed by the arrival of the real ‘bit on the other side’!
A farcical comedy in one act for three men and five women. The running time is approximately 45 minutes.
Bricks and Clay by Eileen Brandon
Bricks and Clay is a thought-provoking drama by the author of The Paradox. Ruth has cared for her brain-damaged sister for many years. A rare visit from their social-climbing sister clashes with a deputation of concerned neighbours and a well-meaning social worker. A glimpse of sunshine on an otherwise bleak day is proffered by Rosie, a compassionate neighbour. But the day ends in tragedy. Sensitively written with a moving curtain.
Ideal for festivals, this all-women play for a cast of 9 women, has a running time of approximately 35 minutes.
Surviving Lockdown by Claire Hogan
Short-length comedy collection | 12 minutes each
The great pleasure of these four short plays is that their humour derives – as the best humour almost always does – from character. And the characters we find in Surviving Lockdown are real and identifiable. We laugh along with Gwen, Maggie and Bernie because we feel we know them; they are instantly recognisable.
Claire Hogan has achieved this through detailed observation and an ear for the way people talk to each other, and these two things – the details and the dialogue – make the situations we find here both familiar and fresh. Take, for example, Bernie’s comment about avocados: “For a wedding yes … but not for every day.” In one neat line we learn a huge amount about Bernie, and the world she inhabits.
Of course, Surviving Lockdown also provides three good actresses with the chance to shine and that’s always a good thing. We warm to these women because they’re survivors, and what helps them survive is their unshakeable friendship.
The Staycation by Claire Hogan
Wendy and Rob could not afford a honeymoon when they got married and decided to push the boat out to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. It feels like Deja Vu as their dream holiday of a Caribbean cruise is snatched away due to Coronavirus. Their holiday time booked off and they are faced with two weeks at home.
All is not well as we join them at the start of their staycation. Despite Wendy’s attempts to spice things up by recreating a Caribbean experience at home. It would seem that no amount of Amazon deliveries can lift the mood. But when an irate Rob goes to answer the door, it is not a package but Portia and Marcus suitcases in tow and ready for their weekend away.
Not only did Rob not tell Wendy that he had put their house on Airbnb for a bit of holiday money; when things changed he forgot to cancel the booking.
Portia and Marcus are tired, bemused and have no intention of leaving. With apparently little in common; they look to make the best of a bad situation. As the evening progresses we are left wondering if this will turn into Wish You Were Here or Holidays from Hell?
Lady Bracknell’s Return by Peter Harrison
Short-length comedy | 30 minutes | F2, M2
It’s now just over 120 years since an actress first strode onstage from the wings of the St James’s Theatre in London, on 14 February 1895, and into theatrical history, playing the aristocratic Lady Bracknell in Irish genius Oscar Wilde’s comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest.
Now the fearsome Lady Bracknell has been resurrected for the first time in a one-act tribute drama, Lady Bracknell’s Return, written by Peter Harrison who took the precaution of first submitting his pastiche to the Oscar Wilde Society to see if any attempt to emulate the style of the Irish genius would be regarded as heresy.
A couple of lines from the play will give the flavour of the thing. Lady Bracknell observes: “My dear child, with eligible men in society proving so elusive, for your parents to have one daughter who is married may be regarded as good fortune. To have all four married looks rather tactless.”
The response from the Oscar Wilde Society Peter describes as gratifying. Vanessa Heron of the Society described the new work as “unusual, and witty and very visual. “And promised the society would promote any production of it through their 8,000 followers.
The play is being produced and directed by Jen Leahey-Hopwood, a graduate of the Italia Conti school who also has a part. She says “Being approached to work with Peter Harrison was an honour in the first instance. However after reading the script I was ‘all in’ immediately. This quirky story full of charm, wit and substance, dominated by the appearance of the ever-powerful and formidable Lady B., creates the perfect vehicle to pay homage to the late great Oscar Wilde with a modern audience in mind.”
Storytelling for Directors From Script to Screen by Bren Simson
Theatre book | 978 1 785 00729 3 | £15.19
Storytelling for Directors will develop the communicative power of your storytelling, whether for the big or small screen, in long or short form. Without being prescriptive, the chapters explore the creative potential in every aspect of the filmmaking process, giving directors the skills to put their ideas into practice.
- Analysing the script to find the character action
- Building the story world
- Deciding each element within the frame
- Shaping the actors’ performances
- Telling the story with the camera
- Working the schedule, budget and rehearsals
- Shaping the film in the edit
Bren Simson has been a filmmaker and a TV drama director for over twenty-five years. From being one of the first directors on Brookside (C4), she went on to a career in television series including The Bill (ITV), Making Out (BBC) and Medics (ITV). She was Head of Directing at the MetFilm School, Ealing Studios, and more recently, Senior Lecturer (Directing) at Bournemouth Film School Arts University.
Baroque ‘n’ Roll by Derek Webb
Full-length comedy | 120 minutes | F1, M3
A comedy romp through the larger-than-life lives – and glorious music – of three of the most celebrated composers of all time: Handel, Bach and Scarlatti, all born the same year, 1685, and who grew to become undisputed giants of baroque music.
Throughout the play we trace the lives and development of the three composers, played by the three leads – with all other parts, by and large comedy turns – played by a versatile mature women actor who is everything from an Irish waitress to a fortune teller, a scientist to a nurse, music critic to stage manager! Much of the music will be very familiar to audiences even if they couldn’t name the composers. The play puts the lives of these giants of Baroque music into context in a very funny and wildly entertainingly way.
The play opens with Handel’s funeral. We are listening to a Bach Solo Organ. The tone is quiet and sombre when suddenly the coffin lid flies off and Handel stands up declaring “Bach, bah! Bach knew nothing! This is music!” and the music changes to the Hallelujah Chorus played very loud with swirling rock concert lights. That sets the tone for the play: irreverent, fun, with glorious music throughout.
All the music is available as mp3 or WAV files, already edited and covered by PRS/PPL.
Free perusal script available to download on request.
The Invisible Man by HG Wells, Derek Webb
Full-length comedy | 120 minutes | M3
Derek Webb’s comedy adaptation of the HG Wells’ classic story The Invisible Man earnt four and five star reviews when it played for three weeks at London’s Jack Studio Theatre before Covid struck.
This fast-moving, very funny adaptation has all parts from a vicar, to a pub landlady to a tramp and to the Invisible Man himself – fifteen characters in total – played by just three actors, and that, in itself, is the source of a great deal of fun. A must-see comedy in every way!
Free perusal script available to download on request.
One in the Eye by Derek Webb
Short-length play | 50 minutes | F2, M3
Horatio Nelson was arguably the greatest hero that Great Britain has ever seen. Throughout the world his name is revered, his exploits remembered with awe. What is not so well known is that Horatio had a brother called Maurice… Maurice (as you may have gathered) was not nearly as famous as Horatio. The closest he got to the sea was the Navy Department where he worked. He was in fact a civil servant.
Free perusal script available to download on request.